Finnish Customs, in collaboration with German and Lithuanian authorities, Europol, Eurojust, and private cybersecurity companies, has successfully seized a Finnish-language dark web website called Piilopuoti. The website, which operated as a hidden service, facilitated the anonymous trade of narcotics smuggled into Finland from abroad. The takedown involved the seizure of the site’s web server and the replacement of its homepage with a seizure warning. Specific details regarding the operation are being withheld as the investigation is ongoing.
Cybersecurity companies, including Bitdefender, which assisted in the investigation, have emphasized the importance of cooperation between authorities and the private sector in combating illicit online activities. Bitdefender’s senior director, Alexandru Catalin Cosoi, stated that the operation demonstrates the power of collaboration in bringing criminals on the dark web to justice. Tim West from WithSecure highlighted the dedication and collaboration required for such takedowns, emphasizing the significance of cooperation between the public and private sectors. Rapid7’s chief scientist, Raj Samani, noted that the takedown signifies a decline in the level of anonymity previously associated with the dark web.
The successful seizure of Piilopuoti adds to a series of dark web marketplace shutdowns this year.